Optical resonant cavity sensors are gaining increasing interest as a potential diagnostic method for a range of applications, including medical prognostics and environmental monitoring. However, the majority of detection demonstrations to date have involved identifying a known analyte, and the more rigorous double-blind experiment, in which the experimenter must identify unknown solutions, has yet to be performed. This scenario is more representative of a real-world situation. Therefore, before these devices can truly transition, it is necessary to demonstrate this level of robustness. By combining a recently developed surface chemistry with integrated silica optical sensors, we have performed a double-blind experiment to identify four unknown solutions. The four unknown solutions represented a subset or complete set of four known solutions; as such, there were 256 possible combinations. Based on the single molecule detection signal, we correctly identified all solutions. In addition, as part of this work, we developed noise reduction algorithms.
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